Caesar’s Well at Wimboldon Common

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Sunset Rd. (near Springwell Cottage)
Wimbledon, London SW19 4UR
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TRANSPORT: Nearest stops are Wimbledon tube (end of District or
green Line), or Wimbledon Tram Link Stop. Then walk (30m.) to spring, or take a
taxi (7 m.), or BUS- walk to Wimbledon Hill Road (Stop R), take bus 93 towards Putney for
5 m. or 3 stops.  Get off Wimbledon Common War Memorial (Stop R). You’ll
be on the edge of the green park.    Then walk 15  min to spring- Get
off bus, walk back in direction you came, but on Park side Road, until
you hit Causeway rd. take RIGHT.   Just before Wimbledon Common Golf
Course take a RIGHT up Sunset Rd. that will dead end at a parking lot in
front of “Springwell” Cottage.  Go to corner of parking lot and
bear LEFT at next fork.  (I suggest asking some local dog walkers in the
parking lot for directions to the spring or “well”) Continue until you
hit a grove of tall Douglas?
pine trees.  There is the old dried up well and then the new well some
20 yards down hill.

The following write-up includes some interesting information that I grabbed from this link: http://people.bath.ac.uk/liskmj/living-spring/sourcearchive/fs9/fs9jlh1.htm

Caesar’s
Well, Wimbledon Common

by John L.
Hughes

   Wimbledon Common is
an extensive plateau of floodplain gravel overlying a bed of London Clay. These strata
give rise to several springs, the best-known being ‘Caesar’s Well’, so called because it
is located some 400 yards due north of an Iron Age hillfort, dated circa 250 BC, and
fancifully named ‘Caesar’s Camp’. This latter now forms a part of the Royal Wimbledon Golf
Course.

     To find the well, travel along
Camp Road, Wimbledon Village, taking the right fork through a white barred gate. Follow
this road across the golf links for some 300 yards, until it terminates in a small car
park. Take the centre one of three paths through the bushes, walking for about 200 yards,
when Caesar’s Well will be seen down a gentle slope to the left, on a small plateau midst
tall pines.

     The wellhead is at an elevation
of 198 feet O.D., and is about five feet in diameter. It was enclosed by a brick surround
in 1829, this being replaced in 1872 by the present structure which consists of twelve
massive stone slabs radiating from the lip of the well. They are inscribed ‘HW PEEK MP
1872’, and serve as a memorial to the then local Member, who played an important part in
conserving the Common.

     Sadly, Caesar’s Well is now
filled with thick black sludge to within a foot of the brim. This is because the spring
beneath suddenly dried up in 1911 for no obvious reason. A boring was made a few feet down
the hill, and water tapped at a depth of eighteen feet. An enclosed standpipe was
installed, and the water, once deemed to have medicinal properties, issues musically from
this, flowing into a massive granite cistern then through a drain hole down a tree trunk
lined culvert, running downhill to join the Beverley Brook, which eventually enters the
Thames.

     The spring has never since
failed. During the exceptionally dry summer of 1976, for example, it continued to flow –
albeit at a reduced rate – while the surrounding areas were badly parched and ravaged by
woodland fires.

     Much local evidence has been
found to indicate that the area was used by Neolithic Man (circa 3000 to 1000 BC) who
quite possibly drank (and perhaps worshipped) at this ancient site. I left a strip of
white linen at the wellhead, and in so doing felt that I was a very minute and humble part
of a human history that spans a period of some five thousand years.

Have fun! Drink up!  Remember to bring a few 5 L jugs in a back pack to bring some home with you to share these divine waters and spread the word about the importance of source water to our health and well-being.

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Posted: September 9, 2019

Category: England

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